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Learning Stayed Full STEAM Ahead During Summer at DUSD

View Official Press Release here.

(Duarte, CA) – The STEAM Summer Experience at Duarte Unified School District attracted over 1200 students from across the San Gabriel Valley who were eager to participate in a wide variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics enrichment and academic classes ranging from preschool to twelfth grade that also included unique opportunities for high school students to access both college and career pathways.

Students primed to enter kindergarten through fourth grade in the Fall, built their excitement for the upcoming academic year by enjoying an array of fun summer learning activities from tending to gardens to creating mosaics offered at the campus of Royal Oaks STEAM Academy under the direction of Summer School Principal, Leslie Bartlett. Beardslee Academy served as the site for students entering fifth through eighth grade, which was overseen by Summer School Principal, Char Wilson. Among the exciting learning engagements these students were involved in included mastering the guitar to inventing a machine capable of propelling an object several feet. Students starting grades 9-12, attended the summer program offered at Duarte High School under the leadership of Summer School Principal, Russ Earnest.

At the high school level, many students were eager to participate in the Early College program provided at Duarte High School in conjunction with Citrus College that offers students in grades 9-12 the chance to earn college credit while in high school. This summer, 60 students in the junior and senior cohorts took advantage of taking college courses that included strategies for college success, human genetics, and American Government & Politics.  Twelfth grade student, Alexia Robinson, enrolled in Political Science stated, “I like to learn about politics.  This class helps shape my political beliefs so when I am able to vote I can make an informed choice.”

Many of students have unique needs when it comes to their four year plan.  By taking summer school classes throughout their summers, students are able to add an extra elective or take a more rigorous course load.  For example, students in the ASB-Student Government class and AVID classes are able to take two classes over the summer to add electives into their schedule.  

Students in the moderate to severe special education classes offered at DUSD were also able to maintain their academic gains by participating in the summer programs.  This includes two classes for 18-22 year old students and one class for 14-18 year old students attending Duarte High School.  Nineteen year old student Samuel Gonzalez likes to work in school and in his community job at Duarte’s Grocery Outlet.  He states, “I like helping with anything they need.”

Duarte High School even offers online course options to ensure students are ready to graduate on time.  Students have options to complete the course with the assistance of a teacher and also work at home.  Twelfth grade student Amitie Gonzalez stated, “I am taking four classes to help be ready to graduate.  I like the online program because I can go at my own pace and the videos explain the information to me.”

For two consecutive summers, Duarte High School has also offered a welding program that provides 15 hours of training each week in partnership with Mt. San Antonio College. Randy Montes, the instructor from Mt. San Antonio that teaches the course, has industry experience and brings his skill-set to help Duarte students understand the dynamic field of welding.  Another highlight of the summer learning opportunities provided by DUSD are the internship and mentorship programs offered in partnership with the City of Hope. Students gained first-hand experience working at this prestigious research facility affording them exposure to a wide-range of medical careers. Students shared the knowledge, experience, and relationships built with the City of Hope staff was incredible.

Not only did the students who attended the STEAM Summer experience at DUSD avoid the Summer Slide, they got pumped for the new school year, made new friends, advanced their college and career dreams, and had fun doing it!